Treatment of symptomatic demodex infestation includes the use of a topical insecticide cream such as permethrin or an antibiotic such as metronidazole, according to PubMed Central. However, doctors may first recommend regular facial cleansing and exfoliation to control demodex mites before attempting therapy with these medications. Some evidence suggests that tea tree oil may be effective for demodex mite infestation on the eyelids, says PubMed.
Demodex mites are present in 20 to 80 percent of adults, according to the Microbiology Society. However, sometimes an overgrowth of mites occurs, causing dermatological issues. Demodex folliculitis is an inflammation of the hair follicles, usually on the face, caused by demodex mites. This can cause a generalized red rash, yellow crusting or even abscesses, claims Wiley Online Library.
Some experts believe that a demodex mite infestation causes or exacerbates rosacea, a condition that causes facial redness. Studies have found that some patients with rosacea have 10 times as many demodex mites when compared to people without rosacea. One hypothesis is that when the mites die they release bacteria that irritate the skin and trigger an outbreak of rosacea. The fact that rosacea often improves with the use of antibiotics supports this hypothesis, reports the Microbiology Society.